Philips Records was established in 1950 by the Dutch electronic company. During the 1950s it served to distribute US recordings by Columbia, but also made own recordings in The Netherlands and in other European countries. In 1961, when Columbia formed its own international operations, Philips purchased Mercury Records and also merged with Deutsche Grammophon, which hold the Polydor label. In 1950s Philips started Fontana Records as a subsidiary label, which also formed divisions in USA and England.
In mid 1960s the British producer Alan Bates initiated a series of avant garde jazz releases for the Fontana, now highly prized by collectors. Not only for the music, but for their unique covers. The series had both Dutch and UK imprints. The covers were made by the Dutch artist Marte Röling. They are beautiful pop art pieces of the time, with fanciful renditions of the artists´ heads and minds.
The sessions origins are varied. Most of them are live concerts, some taken from the artists´ own tapes. 15 albums were issued. For more on Marte Röling and her art, click here.